Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is the canary in the mine. Wake up people.
Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is the canary in the mine. Wake up people.
I just stumbled upon this article today, and it’s by far the best piece I’ve read on this otherwise nearly pointless topic.
We often tend to have short memories, but many segments of the broader professing church have been slouching towards Sodom for many years.
Below is a sampling:
“I think we’re seeing acts of desperation by those who feel their way of life is slipping away,” the Rev. Ray Bagnuolo, the openly gay pastor of Janhus Presbyterian Church in New York City, said after the marriage vote. “Progress takes time. But to gay and lesbian people, it says their relationships, who they are, does not matter to this church. I don’t call that Christian or loving.” – Fox News
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. – Lev. 18:22
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. – Rom. 1:24-27
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” – Rev. 21:8
“The church was not yet ready to make a decision,” said 219th General Assembly Moderator Cindy Bolbach during a press conference following adjournment. “This kind of thing happens at every assembly.”
While many people will see the vote simply as winning or losing — “that’s human nature,” the Moderator said — Bolbach said more helpful thinking involves “trying to figure out where God is leading the church. Women’s ordination took us years and years to decide.” – PC(USA) News & Announcements
‘Christians and Jews’ paper referred back for more work; Christian-Muslim paper moves ahead, but calls for more study – PC(USA) News & Announcements
The full Assembly seemed quite satisfied with the deliberation in the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee as members needed just one hour to move through its business, including the two interfaith papers of which they referred one and approved the other.
With a vote of 529-135-9, the 219th General Assembly (2010), approved item 08-09, which referred “Christians and Jews: People of God” back to the Offices of Interfaith Relations and Theology and Worship.
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them [the Jews] is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. – Rom. 10:1-4
No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. – 1 John 2:23
“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” – Rev. 3:17
Christ condemns the church at Laodicea for being lukewarm and self-deceived. The religious person thinks he is something when he’s not. Notice the contrast in verse 17 between “thou sayest” and “knowest not”: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing ….” Does that sound like the statement of a Christian? Not at all. That’s the statement of a religious hypocrite. Verse 17 then says, “… [thou] knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” You say, “Couldn’t God have used just one of those words to cover the situation of the hypocrite?” That’s true, but He used them all to cover the scope of their lostness. – John MacArthur from “The Apostate Church”
Exposing error is most unpopular work. But from every true standpoint it is worthwhile work. To our Savior, it means that He receives from us, His blood-bought ones, the loyalty that is His due. To ourselves, if we consider “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,” it ensures future reward, a thousand-fold. And to souls “caught in the snare of the fowler”-how many of them God only knows-it may mean light and life, abundant and everlasting.
– Dr. Harry Ironside
“They weave the spider’s web.” – Isaiah 59:5
See the spider’s web, and behold in it a most suggestive picture of the hypocrite’s religion. It is meant to catch his prey: the spider fattens himself on flies, and the Pharisee has his reward. Foolish persons are easily entrapped by the loud professions of pretenders, and even the more judicious cannot always escape. Philip baptized Simon Magus, whose guileful declaration of faith was so soon exploded by the stern rebuke of Peter. Custom, reputation, praise, advancement, and other flies, are the small game which hypocrites take in their nets. A spider’s web is a marvel of skill: look at it and admire the cunning hunter’s wiles. Is not a deceiver’s religion equally wonderful? How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth? How can he make his tinsel answer so well the purpose of gold? A spider’s web comes from the creature’s own bowels. The bee gathers her wax from flowers, the spider sucks no flowers, and yet she spins out her material to any length. Even so hypocrites find their trust and hope within themselves; their anchor was forged by their own hands. They lay their own foundation, and hew out the pillars of their own house, disdaining to be debtors to the sovereign grace of God. But a spider’s web is very frail. It is curiously wrought, but not enduringly manufactured. It is no match for the servant’s broom, or the traveller’s staff. The hypocrite needs no battery of Armstrongs to blow his hope to pieces, a mere puff of wind will do it. Hypocritical cobwebs will soon come down when the besom of destruction begins its purifying work. Which reminds us of one more thought, viz., that such cobwebs are not to be endured in the Lord’s house: He will see to it that they and those who spin them shall be destroyed forever. O my soul, be thou resting on something better than a spider’s web. Be the Lord Jesus thine eternal hiding-place.
I think it’s appropriate to pause for a moment and reflect on why I do what I do here, which is to earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). While this passage may act as a sort of “mission statement” for Absolute Dominion, it’s nevertheless a command that is extended to each and every believer individually. Christians are to be “always ready with an answer for the hope that is in us with gentleness and respect“ (1 Pet. 3:15). Obviously there’s more to the Christian walk – and more to Absolute Dominion – than a one-dimensional end-all, be-all command to become full time apologists. Christianity is a fully-orbed, extremely demanding, and rigorous faith, even though this truth isn’t outwardly apparent when one surveys the barren, desolate landscape of modern-day churchianity.
This is where ministries like Absolute Dominion come into play. We seek to adorn the doctrine of God our Savior (Titus 2:20), and to expose the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11), while remaining faithful to the whole counsel of God which thing encompasses the “conversation of our lives” and ought to be exemplified by the beautiful, multi-faceted, Christ-like virtues which are borne out by the inner working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all true believers body, soul, mind, and spirit. I think I can safely speak for all Christians by stating that we frequently and regrettably fall woefully short in our walk, but thanks be to God for His amazing and unmerited grace!
Nevertheless, such stumblings, failings, and fallings are not to characterize the “conversation of our lives” – the overall day-to-day patterns of our thoughts and behavior – but rather they ought to be the sad exceptions which remind us of the depths of our fallenness, and which send us flying to the cross of Christ in repentance and confession for washing and restoration (1 John 2).
It also must be said that earnestly contending for the faith is not the same thing as being earnestly contentious for the faith. There’s a world of difference! Christians are not to be marked by pugnacious, contentious, quarrelsome attitudes. In fact such attitudes are repugnant to the One true and living God as demonstrated throughout the text of sacred Scripture. The Bible frequently warns against sinful pride, and a haughty spirit. As with Satan himself, the father of lies, pride is often the tap-root for the most passionate, vehement disagreements. As believers in Christ we are to remain humble and treat even our worst adversaries with dignity while prayerfully striving to “snatch them out of the fire” and “show[ing] mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 1:23).
When interest in the churches begins to centre round the visual and the sensual it is commonly a sign of impending apostasy. By ‘sensual’ I mean that which appeals to the senses of man (sight, smell, hearing), as opposed to ‘spirit’, that is, the capacity that belongs to those born of the Spirit of God. Hence the antithesis, ‘sensual, having not the Spirit’ (Jude 19). ‘Sensual’ is also translated ‘natural’ or ‘worldly’; the meaning is the same. It does not take regeneration to give the sensual or the aesthetic a religious appeal to the natural man or woman.
In the Old Testament the people of God were in measure taught by their senses as God imposed the form of worship. As a check against any misuse of that means of teaching no additions to or subtractions from it were allowed. But with the finished work of Christ, and the coming of the Holy Spirit, a momentous change took place. The church was raised to the higher privilege of worship in ‘spirit and truth’ (John 4:24). She belongs to the ‘Jerusalem which is above’ (Gal. 4:26).
In the words of John Owen, ‘the naked simplicity of gospel institutions’ was established in the place of ‘the old, glorious worship of the temple’; Levitical choirs, incense, vestments, etc. — all were gone. Yet not gone permanently; for as church and world gradually came together in the rise of the Papacy, worship that appealed to the senses was reintroduced. Presuming on Old Testament practice, what the gospel had ended in the apostolic age was restored, and the difference brought in by Pentecost disappeared.1 Instead there developed a form of worship in Roman Catholicism which made impressions on the senses at the natural level and which did not need the Holy Spirit.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to Christ…” – 2 Cor. 10:4-6 (ESV)
The recent promulgation on SSM by the SCOTUS is quite simply yet another stronghold, or fortress, that’s been erected against the knowledge of God.
This should come as no surprise to Christians, because fallen man in his vain imaginings is ever industrious building philosophical strongholds in which he tries to hide himself from his Creator and Judge.
There are all manner of these spiritual fortresses, and they take many forms, but they’re all alike in that:
i.) they are the works of men
ii.) they stand over against the knowledge of God, and
iii.) they are in opposition to Christ
They are also alike in another important way – they can be destroyed by the weapons of our warfare, with which God has equipped His people.
It’s very important for God’s people to think deeply and Biblically so that we may be equipped to destroy the strongholds (and arguments) of the fallen world system which are not in submission to Christ.
For many this may mean spending more time in prayer, in God’s Word, and with God’s people in order to be better equipped to “Go therefore…”
Divisions and separations are most objectionable in religion. They weaken the cause of true Christianity…But before we blame people for them, we must be careful that we lay the blame where it is deserved. False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism. If people separate themselves from teaching that is positively false and unscriptural, they ought to be praised rather than reproved. In such cases separation is a virtue and not a sin.
– JC Ryle
1816 – 1900